If you haven’t yet seen the Monday Night Fumble by Lions WR Calvin Johnson that led to the “intentional batting” incident that has turned into the biggest NFL controversy since … well, the Patriots and their deflated footballs a few weeks ago … you probably don’t have a TV. Or a tablet. Or a phone. Or a friend.
In case you missed it, or if just need to see it again, here’s a video of the play along with more talk about the infamous non-call from NFL.com.
Johnson’s fumble, caused by Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor and helped out of bounds by linebacker K.J. Wright, allowed Seattle to hang on for a 13-10 victory. And in a lot of ways, it was the play of the NFL season so far.
By keeping “Megatron” from scoring, Chancellor helped the Seahawks improve to 2-2, instead of the reigning NFC champions falling into a 1-3 hole that would have sent the entire Pacific Northwest into panic mode. Chancellor’s play also kept the Lions winless at 0-4, putting one of last year’s NFC playoff teams on the brink of a disastrous season and clearing even room for the Packers to cruise to an NFC North division title.
Defensively, it was the big play of big plays. It happened on “Monday Night Football.” It happened during a potentially game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. It didn’t just prevent a big gain, it prevented a touchdown. It was a star making a play against a superstar. And it was a perfectly-executed play by Chancellor, so much so that there was really nothing Johnson could’ve done about it. Johnson is probably the strongest receiver in the NFL, but Chancellor is strong and he used perfect technique in punching the ball out of Johnson’s grip. Brock Lesnar would’ve fumbled that football.
Chancellor, with that play, also solidified himself as a legit NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate. While Chancellor was sitting out the first two games of the season in a contract dispute, the Seahawks went 0-2 and gave up 30 points per game. Since Chancellor’s return, Seattle is 2-0 and allowing an average of just five points per game. And it was the captain of their defense that made the decisive play in the most high-profile of those wins on a national TV stage.